WHCA party scene mixes glam and subdued bashes
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Some glam, high-profile bashes will mingle with more subdued White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) dinner-adjacent events during one of Washington’s traditionally glitziest weekends — though actual White House staffers are forbidden from attending the main event.

In previous years, the annual correspondents’ dinner has served as a star-studded reason for Hollywood’s A-listers to descend on D.C. — with everyone from Tom Cruise to Kerry Washington jetting to the nation’s capital to rub elbows with journalists, lawmakers and the commander in chief.


But given President TrumpDonald TrumpHillicon Valley — State Dept. employees targets of spyware Ohio Republican Party meeting ends abruptly over anti-DeWine protesters Jan. 6 panel faces new test as first witness pleads the Fifth MORE’s prickly at best relationship with the press — he’s repeatedly called the “fake news media” the “enemy of the people” — the dinner on Saturday night has taken a more serious tone during his presidency. 

Trump bucked tradition in his first year in office, opting to skip the black-tie soiree, which he attended several times before entering the world of politics. He hasn’t stepped foot in the Washington Hilton for the dinner since taking office. This year, he’ll be holding a political rally in Wisconsin on the same night as the dinner, which has not-so-affectionately been dubbed “Nerd Prom.” And on Tuesday, the White House announced it had directed administration officials not to attend the dinner.

Last year, comedian Michelle Wolf ignited a media firestorm as the correspondents’ dinner’s headliner when she took jabs at White House press secretary Sarah HuckabeeSarah SandersHow Biden should sell his infrastructure bill Trump expected to resume rallies in June Andrew Giuliani planning run for New York governor MORE Sanders and other Trump administration officials during her remarks. After the criticism surrounding Wolf’s explicit comments, the WHCA announced last year that, rather than a comedian or late-night TV host, presidential biographer Ron Chernow would serve as the entertainer at this year’s dinner.

That doesn’t mean comedians are staying completely away from the District this weekend. After hosting her inaugural “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner” in 2017, TBS “Full Frontal” host Samantha Bee will return to DAR Constitution Hall for a follow-up on the eve of the dinner.

“I didn’t think it would be necessary, but it turns out now they’re not having a comedian at the dinner, it felt like it was time,” Bee told “CBS This Morning” on Tuesday.

“It’s just doing the Lord’s work here,” Bee quipped. The TV special will air at the same time as the real correspondents’ dinner. “Journalism is under siege for sure, so we want to highlight that. But ultimately, we want to have a fun night.”

The Hill will also kick off festivities with an exclusive soiree, “Politics Without Prejudice: A Toast to Freedom of the Press.” The Friday celebration at the National Portrait Gallery will feature a DJ performance by Grammy Award winner Questlove.

While several news outlets — including The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and People and Time magazines — canceled their annual correspondents’-themed functions in the Trump era, some mainstays are forging ahead with their gatherings.

The Garden Brunch, held on Saturday ahead of the dinner, will continue, organizers say. Jay Leno is poised to attend as the special guest at the event in Georgetown.

MSNBC and NBC News journalists and guests will whoop it up at the networks’ after-party at the Italian Embassy, while Capitol File magazine will welcome “House of Cards” star Michael Kelly at its own glamorous affair.

CNN will also host its signature “Political Hangover Brunch” the morning after the WHCA event. And the Los Angeles Times announced a new addition to the social scene, a correspondents’ after-party at The National Press Club that will serve as a fundraiser for missing journalist Austin Tice.
The following is a full list of the correspondents’ shindigs taking place in Washington. All of the events are invite-only.

Thursday, April 25
Bytes and Bylines
Hosted by Allen Gannett, Eric Kuhn, John McCarthy and Jennifer DeCasper
6:30-9:30 p.m.
The Residence of the Ambassador of Ireland
Washington Women in Journalism Awards
Hosted by Gloria Story Dittus and Catherine Merrill Williams
6:30-9 p.m.
The American Revolution Institute at Anderson House
Friday, April 26
Samantha Bee’s “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner”
7 p.m.
DAR Constitution Hall
The Atlantic Correspondents’ Eve Dinner
Hosted by David Bradley
6 p.m.
“Embed: A Celebration of War Correspondents”
6 p.m.
Lincoln Library at The Old Post Office
RealClearPolitics’s “Toast to the First Amendment”
6-9 p.m.
National Restaurant Association
The Hill’s “Politics Without Prejudice: A Toast to Freedom of the Press”
8 p.m.
National Portrait Gallery
Ambassador to the State of Qatar to the United States and The Washington Diplomat Correspondents’ Pre-Party
8 p.m.
United States Institute of Peace
United Talent Agency and Mediaite “A Celebration of America's Journalists”
9 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Fiola Mare
Saturday, April 27

Garden Brunch
Hosted by Tammy Haddad, Hilary Rosen, Jean and Steve Case, Mark and Sally Ein, Jennifer Dunn, Zac Moffatt, Greta Van Susteren and John Coale, Franco Nuschese, and Fritz Brogan
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Beall-Washington House

Watchdog Correspondents Preamble Party
Hosted by The Young Turks
5:30 – 10:00 p.m.
The Hepburn
BuzzFeed News “Watch (Or Not) Party”
6-11 p.m.
White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner
9:30 p.m. Keynote speech from Ron Chernow
Washington Hilton
Los Angeles Times’s After-Party
A fundraiser for Austin Tice
10 p.m. – 1 a.m.
The National Press Club
Capitol File After-Party Celebration
10 p.m. – 1 a.m.
The Glover Park Room at the Dupont Circle Hotel
NBC News and MSNBC After-Party
11:30 p.m.
Embassy of Italy
Sunday, April 28
CNN Correspondents’ Brunch
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
1626 North Capitol St. NW
Thomson Reuters Correspondents’ Brunch
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Hay-Adams Hotel